Almond Coffee Bread

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Here's a delightful recipe our youngest daughter made for 4-H one year that received a purple ribbon.

3 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg


Almond Filling:
1/3 cup almond paste
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup slivered almonds

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, lemon zest and salt. Add milk, water, butter and egg. Using kneading attachment, mix together until a nice dough forms, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and cover. Let rest for 30 minutes. Punch dough down. Divide into three pieces; roll each into a 24x4-in. rectangle.

In a mixing bowl, beat almond paste, chopped almonds, egg, and lemon zest. Divide into thirds and spread over each dough rectangles to edges. Starting with each long side, roll up. Pinch seams to seal. Place ropes on a floured surface and braid. Place in a greased 10-in. tube pan. Pinch ends to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40-60 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. To make glaze, in a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar,almond extracts, and milk. Drizzle over warm braid. Top with almonds. Serves 10-12.

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